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Article: 5 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade the Look of Your Favorite Area Rug

5 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade the Look of Your Favorite Area Rug

5 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade the Look of Your Favorite Area Rug

5 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade the Look of Your Favorite Area Rug

When it comes to decorating your home on a budget, few pieces get more wear and tear than your area rugs. High-traffic areas, muddy paw prints, spills, and everyday life can take a toll, leaving even your favorite rugs looking dull, faded, and past their prime. But there's no need to immediately replace an aged area rug that's still got some life left in it. With just a little creativity and elbow grease, you can affordably revive and upgrade the look of an old rug to make it feel fresh and new again.

From small DIY tweaks to more involved revamps, these 5 inexpensive tips will help you transform a tired, worn-out rug into a stunning, on-trend focal point without spending a fortune on replacement costs. Let's explore some budget-savvy ways to kickstart that rug glow-up!

1. Deep Clean & Revive the Pile
Sometimes all a rug needs is a really deep, thorough cleaning to remove built-up dirt and grime and revive the vibrancy of colors and patterns. Over time, foot traffic grinds in oils, dust, and debris, leaving rugs with a dingey, muted appearance and limp pile. For tips on maintaining the vibrancy of your rugs even with pets, check out How to Keep Your Rugs Looking Great with Pets

To restore that fresh, plush look, try renting or investing in a professional-grade carpet cleaning machine and solution made specifically for area rugs. The rotating brush heads, heat, and suction power will work to remove deeply embedded soils while lifting and re-fluffing matted fibers. Finish by grooming the pile with a dry brush to re-energize patterns. For more detailed information on rug care, you might find Rug Care and Restoration - Your Possession Deserves New Life helpful. Additionally, you can learn more about different types of area rugs and their care from Wikipedia

You can also take rugs to be professionally cleaned on a yearly basis to maintain their vibrancy. Rug cleaning services have access to larger truck-mount systems and commercial-grade cleaning solutions to revitalize even the most trampled rugs.

2. Layer & Redefine the Shape
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to upgrade the whole look and feel of a rug is simply by resizing and redefining its shape. Rather than springing for a whole new area rug, you can create the look of layered rugs by repositioning your existing rug on top of a larger, neutral base rug for a fresh, bohemian aesthetic. For more inspiration on budget-friendly home decor, visit 5 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Trends for 2024.

For example, let's say you have an 8x10 Oriental-style rug that's looking a bit worse for wear. Place it at an angle over a larger jute or sisal area rug in a complementary neutral tone to add a trendy, casual vibe. The layers will not only disguise wear and stains on the top rug but also update the overall look.

You can use the same technique to create sculptural runners in hallways or entryways by piecing sections of colorful, patterned rugs over neutral berber or sisal rugs. It's an opportunity to mix textures, colors, and rug styles while giving new life to neglected pieces. If you're looking for more ways to embrace coziness with rugs this fall, check out Tips to Decorate Your Home This Fall: Embrace Coziness with Rugs and More

3. Try a Dye Job
While you'll want to exercise caution when working with fabric dyes, giving an old area rug an entirely new color can be a dramatic way to disguise stains, refresh faded patterns, and create your own custom look on a budget. For a detailed guide on fabric dyeing, visit The Spruce.

For solid or tone-on-tone rugs, you may be able to fully re-dye using an all-purpose fabric dye in a trendy shade like olive green, inky blue, or cantaloupe orange. Vibrant over-dyed rugs are hugely popular for adding a gorgeous pop of saturated color.

If the rug has more intricate patterns, look for dyes specially formulated to dye just the solid background sections while leaving the patterns in their original hues. Before tackling any rug dyeing, be sure to thoroughly research dyeing techniques for your specific rug materials.

4. Add Decorative Trim or Fringe
For a pretty low-cost investment, you can completely elevate the look of a basic area rug by adding decorative trim or fringe accents in complementary colors and textures. This is especially useful for disguising areas of heavy wear or fading around the rug edges. To explore more about the allure of custom handmade rugs, visit Exploring the Fascinating World of Custom Handmade Rugs.

Opt for plush bullion fringe, jute tassels, pom pom trim, or even simple cotton webbing to accent the border and corners of a rug. Or get creative by layering jute rope, rickrack trim or embroidery floss around the outer edges or middle sections to create an eye-catching geometric pattern.

The best part is you can frequently find rolls of surplus upholstery trim at fabric outlets or craft stores for a song. A little hot glue, fabric glue, or decorative tacking is all that's needed to instantly update your floor covering.

5. Reshape & Restructure
Speaking of worn edges, you can also disguise areas of heavy fraying, stains, or tears around the perimeter of a rug by simply restructuring the shape. This may take a little more effort but could mean the difference between replacing a damaged rug and reviving it into a totally new look.

Start by using heavy-duty carpet shears or utility scissors to carefully trim away any severely damaged borders or edges. Then, form your rug into a new shape and size by folding and serging the edges to create a rounded, oval, or geometric silhouette. Finally, finish the new edge with a coordinating trim, binding or fringe for a clean, intentional look. Learn more about different types of rug weaves from Wikipedia.

This trimming and reshaping trick works especially well with flat weave wool rugs like kilims or Dhurries but can be used for certain plush pile rugs too. Just make sure to maintain clean edges and finish with a slip-resistant backing for safety. For more ideas on how rugs can elevate your home decor, read Why Rugs Are Making a Comeback into Home Decoration Plans.

The great thing about this rug "upcycling" approach is that there's really no way to go wrong. So whether you're reviving a beloved heirloom area rug or just want to breathe new life into a budget-friendly thrift store find, these 5 wallet-friendly upgrades prove you don't need to spend a fortune to end up with a beautifully refreshed floor covering you'll love.

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